Sasha Lee was knocked down but got up. She decided to not be bitter but to be brave, keep fighting and see the good. She didn’t let the hard stuff win. After first sharing her story with The Weight She Carries last September, Sasha comes back to share her most candid experiences with depression and anxiety. It is so refreshing to know that someone managed to face their demons and fight them head on.
I have suffered from depression and anxiety since around the age of 10 and have had to face the world head-on without any armour. Firstly, I come from a broken home with both parents fighting every day. I faced many challenges, which got me into a mental institution, where I was prescribed tranquilizers, which were the only thing at that time that made me feel like a heavy load had been lifted off of me. And as I grew older, tranquilizers made me feel relaxed, and I finally felt like I could do things without feeling this heavy feeling of sadness and anxiety.
Previously, I had partied for a year and had done stuff I had regretted at the time. However, like they say, whatever you have done throughout life is what makes you the person you are.
After doing all the rebelling, going missing for days, partying with friends and drinking uncontrollably, I decided I had to put an end to it as I had times where I was blacked out and drugged. This moment I had to literally sit myself down and cut every person off piece by piece to listen to myself. Were my actions normal?
I felt like I was bipolar for a time. I was doing irrational things that could harm me. Jumping into strangers’ cars and meeting random people and ending up at their place. In that moment, I could only thank God for saving me. My life was not okay. The more I thought about it, the more I felt disgusted with myself for the things I did.
However, like I said, we cannot [get away] from the things we did. We just need to push forward. From there, I had to think of my mental health clearly and what I could do to make me feel better in the long term, not temporarily. Decisions had to be made; to eat well; to do something I am interested in instead of drinking and partying to fill a void I had felt.
I know for a fact I was not fully healed from my past, and at the time, my mom and my brother continued to abuse me. My dad was not around. He did not want to be around. His girlfriend also did not want him around me. She made me out to be a villain. All I had in that moment was myself.
So from there, I took steps. Steps to cleanse myself. Steps to build my relationship with someone who had saved me from incidents where there would be no me anymore: God. I thanked Him each day. Steps to write out my feelings. Steps to take my medication and stay hydrated. To make my bed and eat healthier. To stop drinking and smoking.
My skin cleared up. I could think clearly. I lost weight. It wasn’t all easy. I still had my off days, and on my off days, I accepted my anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Life went along, and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I had gotten hit [by] my cousin and distanced myself from family members. Dad issues. Mom issues. That was the main cause of the condition.
Like they say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I have seen a change in my life and in the lives of those that hurt me. Firstly, my brother hasn’t laid a hand on me for three years. My mom finally isn’t as bad as she used to be. So if I had committed suicide when I attempted it five times, I wouldn’t have seen this…I wouldn’t have seen the good things I see in life now.
We live in a new city now. Not the best but peaceful. I am baking from home, which is my passion, and I continue to work on my mental health. I speak to others about my experiences, and it helps me a lot with my anxiety and depression. I also do slight exercises. With the painful condition I have, the anxiety lessens within me. I continue to take my medication.
Everyone has a different route as to how to deal with their mental health. I have made sure I always am busy as I tend to overthink when I am not. Whether it be writing, drawing, gaming, watering the garden, watching TV, listening to music and singing or simply playing with my dog. Try out new things! Mainly seek help. Never feel ashamed to ask for help. Never feel ashamed to speak about your mental health.
I am not a victim; I am a survivor. I stand here today and can say I fight every day through it, and not all days are bad. I thank God every day when I wake up, and I am so thankful for what I have. My relationship with God has grown immensely, and that too has helped me keep on going. It’s water to my roots.
If you ever feel this way, please remember you are the key to your mind, and the tiniest step to changing it all is to speak about it. There are many institutions and online groups on Facebook that you can talk to with friends, family, a stranger, your teacher.
I am still battling and not letting it beat me because I am stronger than I was before. My strength comes from God who has been my help. It is up to you to find healing. Do not forget that your life matters.
Read Sasha’s original story here: